Kurt Vonnegut’s 8 Basics of Creative Writing

Kurt Vonnegut’s 8 Basics of Creative Writing

There is no doubt that one of the greatest American writers was Kurt Vonnegut, and at the same time, he is one of the greatest writing teachers. Want to learn how to write like him? Check out his own words listed as Kurt Vonnegut’s 8 Basics of Creative Writing.

Find a subject you care about

“Find a subject you care about and which you in your heart feel others should care about. It is this genuine caring, and not your games with language, which will be the most compelling and seductive element in your style.”

Do not ramble, though

“I won’t ramble on about that.”

Keep it simple

“As for your use of language: Remember that two great masters of language, William Shakespeare and James Joyce, wrote sentences which were almost childlike when their subjects were most profound. ‘To be or not to be?’ asks Shakespeare’s Hamlet. The longest word is three letters long…Simplicity of language is not only reputable, but perhaps even sacred. The Bible opens with a sentence well within the writing skills of a lively fourteen-year-old: ‘In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth.”

Have the guts to cut

“Your rule might be this: If a sentence, no matter how excellent, does not illuminate your subject in some new and useful way, scratch it out.”

Sound like yourself

“The writing style which is most natural for you is bound to echo the speech you heard when a child…I myself find that I trust my own writing most, and others seem to trust it most, too, when I sound most like a person from Indianapolis, which is what I am.”

Say what you mean to say

“If I broke all the rules of punctuation, had words mean whatever I wanted them to mean, and strung them together higgledy-piggledy, I would simply not be understood. So you, too, had better avoid Picasso-style or jazz-style writing, if you have something worth saying and wish to be understood. Readers want our pages to look very much like pages they have seen before. Why? This is because they themselves have a tough job to do, and they need all the help they can get from us.”

Pity the reader

“They have to identify thousands of little marks on paper, and make sense of them immediately…So this discussion must finally acknowledge that our stylistic options as writers are neither numerous nor glamorous, since our readers are bound to be such imperfect artists. Our audience requires us to be sympathetic and patient teachers, ever willing to simplify and clarify — whereas we would rather soar high above the crowd, singing like nightingales.”

For really detailed advice

“For a discussion of literary style in a narrower sense, in a more technical sense, I commend to your attention The Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr., and E.B. White (Macmillan, 1979). E.B. White is, of course, one of the most admirable literary stylists this country has so far produced..”

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How to Write a Blog Post

Every blogger knows the importance of posting a good blog post and why it is important to have SEO articles. If your articles aren’t Search Engine Optimized, you will receive a lot less traffic on your blog. And what is the point of having a blog, if no one is there to read it? So, if you struggle with the ways on how to write a blog post, that will attract more traffic, we are here to give you a helping hand.

Find and Understand your Target Audience

Before you start to write and post any content on your blog, you should first choose your target audience. So, do a little research and find out what does your audience would like to know on that subject. Make a list of all those things, which will be helpful when creating your content.

Choose a Topic and Create Relevant Content

Once you do your research about the likes and dislikes of your target audience, now it’s the time to create the content. It is important to write about the most relevant things, don’t go too much into detail and stick to the main subject. Another suggestion is to use shorter paragraphs and bulleted lists. It’s easier on the eye and your audience will find it easier to read.

Don’t Forget the Introduction

Before you get to the main part, our suggestion is to spend some time and write a cool intro. This will capture the attention to anyone that stumbles upon your blog post and will be intrigued to read it all the way through. So, in few short words, describe what that blog post is going to be about and try to spice it up as much as you can.

Time to Write

Now that you are ready to start writing the actual blog, there are few things to keep in mind. Don’t write about speculations or things that you are not sure about. No one wants to spend their time reading content that is actually false. Also, make sure that the blog post has a nice flow.

Proofread Before You Post

Never publish your article before you read it once more. It sets a bad impression if your blog post is full of grammatical or spelling errors. That is why it is best to either hire an editor or proofreader, that will check everything that you have written. Also, another suggestion is to use a grammar and spelling checking tools, which will always detect even the smallest mistake.

 

Mobile Optimization

Nowadays, it is really important that your blog is mobile friendly. So, take the time to check your blog and if it isn’t available for mobile, amend that mistake. More and more users are switching from desktop to mobile versions. And if your blog isn’t mobile friendly you might lose valuable traffic.

 

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What Makes You a Good Writer

Henry David Thoreau once said, “How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.” Is there anything that we cannot agree with about this thought and ultimate truism? We can just guess the number of people Thoreau has encountered who have fancied themselves good writers but could not form an idea that is original and unique. Just like today. There are many aspiring writers who struggle to find their voice or who have no idea where even to begin when it comes to penning down their first page. We think that we may have something of an answer so read along and find the answer to the burning question: what lies in the essence of the stuff that makes any person a good writer? Or even better, what makes you a good writer?

Stand up to live

What does Thoreau mean by this? Most people are alive but do they really live their lives? This is a labyrinthine philosophical question to say the least, but it does point in the direction that every aspiring writer should follow: live live live. To live means to break old habits, old thought patterns, old friendships and relations. If you are worried about “losing yourself” please don’t be because the point exactly is to lose yourself in something new. Everything that you are leaving behind is actually still with you, as it is part of your memory, part of your being, part of what made you who you are up to one point in time.

Old habits, old concepts

To break old habits means to break your concepts of whatever opinions, convictions and perceptions you have that form your awareness of the world. So if you have reserves about working an odd job, reconsider what makes you think that way. Could you imagine yourself working as a street sweep? Do you want to be a writer? Then become a street sweep and see the world through a whole new radius of perceptions. Whatever job you take, whatever occupation you have will lead to new people, new stories, new so to say “friction” between you and your world. But that is just a harmless idea to get you thinking about different challenges and opportunities that exist out there.

Reconfiguring the World in Your Head

Everything that you see and do, and everything who you know or have known, can be given a new name and new personality. The essence of things remains but you are giving them a new face and that gives the freedom to expand and go to bigger depths. So when you are facing the challenge of building a character, think of all the people whom you have met, that is, the people and what made them.

Read up

Reading the books of others can be injurious to your own writing. You may get sidetracked from the idea at hand that you need to put down on paper but you can’t because you are parsing the sentences of another person. That may in turn compel you to parse your own writing and you may go on an infinite adventure of arranging and rearranging and looking for the “perfect stab”. Why not quit reading for awhile? Let your mind cruise the infinite waters of the world that we inhabit, so that you may discover possibilities for new feelings and new states of mind, not necessarily of your own.

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